Conserving Water

With so much rain in the Lower Mainland, why do we have to conserve water?

The reason is our limited storage capacity. The reservoirs in the three Metro Vancouver watersheds – Capilano, Seymour and Coquitlam – all have limited storage capacity, so not all the rainfall and snowmelt can be captured.

This presents a challenge, since 70 per cent of our rain falls in autumn and winter, yet our peak water consumption is during the summer.

Did you know that the average Metro Vancouver resident uses 400 litres of water a day?

Most Europeans only use 120-170 litres of water a day!

Don’t Waste a Drop!

Lawn Sprinkling and Water-Use Restrictions




Residents and property owners are required to follow the restrictions set by Metro Vancouver. Click for information.



How to Save Water Indoors



  • Keep a jug of ice-cold drinking water in the fridge so you don’t have to run the tap for cold water and save up to 7-12 litres per minute.
  • Use your dishwasher for full loads only  and for each load avoided save 40-55 litres.
  • When washing and rinsing dishes by hand, fill the sink instead of letting your tap run and save 7-12 litres per minute. 


  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth or shave and save 7-12 litres per minute.
  • Take shorter showers and save 6-19 litres per minute.
  • Avoid flushing your toilet unnecessarily and don’t use it as a wastebasket. You’ll save 6-30 litres per flush.
  • Install a low-flow shower head and save up to 10 litres per minute.
  • Install a low flow toilet and save 6 litres per flush.
  • Check your toilet for leaks and save up to 450 litres every day. 

Laundry room:

  • Only use your washing machine for full loads, and save 170-190 litres for each avoided load.
  • Use shorter cycles and only use the perma-press cycle when necessary, and save up to 60 litres per load.
  • Buy a front-loading washing machine and save up to 120-140 litres per load. 


  • Tighten faucets to avoid drips and save up to 40 litres per day.
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks and save up to 47 litres per day.
  • Avoid running the tap unnecessarily and save 10-40 litres per day.
How to Save Water Outdoors

Lawn and garden:


  • Don’t overwater your lawn. It only needs 2.5 cm of water (including rainfall) during the summer. Your sprinkler uses 1,300 litres of water each hour and your lawn cannot absorb more than 2.5 cm.
  • Follow the regional sprinkling restrictions.
  • Ensure that your sprinkler only waters things that grow (not the sidewalk, driveway or house) and you will save 10-35 litres per minute.
  • Do not water your lawn on windy days.
  • Use mulch around your plants to reduce evaporation and promote growth.
  • Cut only the top 1/3 of the grass when you mow and leave the clippings behind. They will help the soil retain moisture and provide a natural fertilizer. This is known as grasscycling.

 Other outdoor activities:

  • Instead of letting the hose run while you wash your car, use a bucket of soapy water to wash and use the hose only for rinsing and you will save at least 46 litres. Or consider a commercial car wash that recycles water.
  • Use a spring-loaded nozzle and you will save up to 16 litres per minute.
  • Instead of cooling off with the sprinkler, use water toys and outdoor wading pools. A sprinkler uses 1,300 litres per hour, so the water savings will be substantial.